Television’s Valerie Harper, star of TV series ‘Rhoda’, dies aged 80

Valerie Harper, the star of ground breaking television shows The Mary Tyler Moore Show and Rhoda has passed away aged 80.

The actors family confirmed the stars passing, saying they would be releasing no further details. The actor had been battling cancer for many years. Harper revealed she had been diagnosed with brain cancer and had been given just three months to live in 2013.

She was part of the cast of the groundbreaking comedy show The Mary Tyler Moore show where she played the character Rhoda  Morgenstern. When the show premiered in 1970 her character was a fan favourite and in 1974 a spin-off was launched. Rhoda aired from 1974 until 1978. She won four Emmy Awards and a Golden Globe for her portrayal.

In the 1980’s the actress returned to television with a popular family based TV series that took her name as its title. Valerie saw the star play a suburban mother with Jason Bateman starring as one of her children. After the first season Harper left the show when she was unable to settle a pay dispute with the show’s producers. Producers killed off her character off screen and the show was later renamed Valerie’s Family and then The Hogan Family. 

Later in her career Harper was nominated for a Tony Award for her portrayal of Tallulah Bankhead in the play Looped. She also made guest appearances on a wide variety of TV shows including Sex and the City, That 70’s Show, The Simpsons, Drop Dead Diva, Family Guy, 2 Broke Girls, Melrose Place and Hot in Cleveland. 

OIP Staff


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